Query & Response
Any company who does IT/ITES exports through Data communication links needs to submit the Softex Form for certification (Refer RBI Master Circular No. RBI/2013-14/14 dated 1st July 2013 (Para B 15), RBI Circular No.80 dated 15th February 2012 and RBI Circular No.43 dated 13th September 2013)
For getting the Softex certification from the Designated Authority (STPI), the companies have to register with STPI either STP unit or as NON-STP unit Nevertheless, the companies registered as STP units will have other benefits apart from getting their Software Exports certified.
As per Sec.17(2)(v) of Income Tax Act, any sum payable by the employer, whether directly or through a fund, other than a recognised provident fund or an approved superannuation fund or a Deposit-linked Insurance Fund established under EPF Act, 1952, etc. to effect an assurance on the life of the assessee or to effect a contract for an annuity, shall be treated as Perquisite. It may be noted that Life Insurance or contract for any annuity (like pension funds) are covered under this head but not Health and personal accident policies.
Pressuming that you are a freelance IT consultant (as a sole proprietor), with an office set-up and establishment of your own, you need to segregate all business expenses such as travel, communication, office rent & maintenance, depreciation, support staff, etc. for running your IT consultancy business and claim such expenses as deduction from your Income. You are required to pay tax only on the net income. If the gross income exceeds Rs.25 lakhs, your books requires to be audited by a Chartered Accountant.